The event was a class on how to use Linkedin to market to more people. Classes and seminars are also a great networking tool because they tend to bring people together for a specific topic. This means you already have something in common with the person beside you. There is no real need for an icebreaker and you can really start the conversation with “so what brings you here?” Lately that has been my phrase of choice. It seems so much gentler than “so what do you do”. Somehow the latter phrase feels so rude and blunt to me therefore I avoid asking it first when I meet people.
The flip side to a complimentary class or seminar is most the time the host is trying to sell you a service. I have no issue with that. If I attend it means I am in search of a subject matter expert. The presenters approach will determine if the event was worth the effort. Clearly I like subtle and I’m prone to stay open when a presenter just suggest or make you feel like you have an option. This was not one of those events. I could tell from the onset that the host was going to be pushy about signing you up for something. I kept doing a body scan. I kept feeling like I needed to check my emotional and mental barometer. I was waiting for the ball to drop. It felt like the presenter was trying to push the listener into a fearful state so that you would then conclude that you had a need for the service. The other people seemed to be eating this up. However, I started to check out. I felt uninterested in the subject but I wanted to stay long enough in case anything key popped up. I think became obsessed with my phone. Where the presentation was heading left me on the sidelines. I can say in retrospect I didn’t walk away with much. I didn’t have any new contacts. I didn’t feel connected to the group or message. I believe the approach turned the tides on what I went there for and I was never able to regain focus. I exited the event after about forty five minutes.
What I learned
- If an event does not hold your attention its better to count your loses early and leave to find a more productive use of your time. It’s best to make the assessment early on. I was giving the presenter the benefit of the doubt and probably stayed beyond my limit. If your intution nods no, then it probably is a no. Honor your initial feelings and move on.
- Sometimes a speaker can give off and awkward vibe. This can be due to nervousness, fear and even just not believing in themselves. When someone is passionate about what they are doing you can sense it. This class was more about making a sell and not really about creating a connection that might eventually lead to a sell. There is a difference so start to pay attention the two aspects.
Peace and Blessing